Welsh government announces draft budget for councils - Monmouth up 3.9%

By Emily Gill   |   Local Democracy Reporter   |
Tuesday 22nd December 2020 11:48 am
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Newport council is set to receive the highest increase in funding in the whole of Wales in the next financial year, with no Gwent councils seeing funding cut.

As part of its draft budget for 2021-22, the Welsh government has also revealed its provisional local government settlement, setting out how much funding each of Wales’ 22 councils will be given in April.

All councils across Wales are provisionally set to receive an increase in funding, with Newport in line for the largest increase, at 5.6 per cent. Ceredigion will see the smallest rise, with a funding increase of two per cent.

This is how much each Gwent council will be given compared with the current financial year:

Newport: £241 million, up 5.6 per cent.

Monmouthshire: £101 million, up 3.9 per cent.

Torfaen: £146 million, up 4.3 per cent.

Blaenau Gwent: £120 million, up 3.7 per cent.

Caerphilly: £292 million, up 3.1 per cent.

The allocations do not include a funding floor, or a minimum amount each council must receive.

In a letter to local authorities, the minister for housing and local government Julie James said she recognises that services have been “significantly impacted” by the coronavirus pandemic. However, these issues will be considered separately and do not form part of the settlement.

This includes the funding proposed to extend the free school meals programme and track and trace throughout the whole of the 2021-22 year.

Ms James said: “This provides a stable platform for local authorities to plan their budget and, building on significant funding this year, is as good a settlement as I can offer.

“While local government faces significant pressures, particularly in relation to the pandemic, this increase in core revenue funding will enable councils to support and deliver valuable local services.

“This year, more than ever, we have seen how essential local government is to how we all live and particularly for the most vulnerable in our communities. This funding is a recognition of the crucial role of local authorities in our national mission to improve education, provide social care, tackle poverty and fight climate change.

“I have discussed with council leaders our shared recognition of the need to invest in social housing and I hope that this settlement will assist councils to increase the scale and pace of housebuilding in Wales.”

Now there will be a seven-week consultation on the proposals, which will end of February 9. Those wishing to provide a comment should email [email protected]s.

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